Concerns remain after Government ‘scraps’ original co-payment plan

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) is encouraged that the Federal Government has listened to the community and dumped its original GP co-payment policy, but remains concerned about long-term sustainable reform of the health system.

Acting AHHA Chief Executive Andrew McAuliffe said that, while it’s positive the GP co-payment is being scrapped for sections of the community, the new proposal may still result in significant out-of-pocket expenses for a large number of Australians.

“While we welcome the government exempting vulnerable Australians from their co-payment ‘mach two’, patients who aren’t currently bulkbilled will automatically pay at least $5 more every time they see a doctor under this new proposal,” Mr McAuliffe said.  

“We’re also awaiting further details on a number of other aspects of this new proposal, such as the suggested introduction of co-payments at emergency departments. Similarly, we’re interested in the modelling undertaken to support these changes.”

“While a sustainable health system is important for ensuring good outcomes for Australians, this shouldn’t come at the cost of accessible, affordable healthcare.”

The AHHA has previously advocated for the government to reflect these principles and to focus on other opportunities to rein in expenditure on low-value care through Medicare. This can be achieved through initiatives such as the Choosing Wisely program, increased use of advanced care plans and speeding up the review of MBS items.

The AHHA awaits further details on this new proposal and how it will contribute to a stronger primary healthcare system.

For more information on the AHHA, visit http://ahha.asn.au.

The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association is the national peak body for public and not-for-profit hospitals, community and primary healthcare services, and advocates for universal, high quality and affordable healthcare to benefit the whole community.

Media enquiries:

Andrew McAuliffe

A/ Chief Executive, The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association

0447 821 785